Harold Macmillan

Harold Macmillan

Overview
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, PC (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963.

Nickname
Nickname
A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

d 'Supermac
Supermac (cartoon)
"Super-Mac" was the subject of a cartoon - "Introducing Super-Mac" - by "Vicky" in the Evening Standard in London, England, on 6 November 1958....

' and known for his pragmatism
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

, wit and unflappability, Macmillan achieved notoriety before the Second World War as a Tory radical and critic of appeasement
Appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

. Rising to high office as a protégé of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, he believed in the essential decency of the post-war settlement
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

 and the necessity of a mixed economy
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

, and in his premiership pursued corporatist
Tory corporatism
Tory corporatism is a corporatist political culture that is distinct from fascist corporatism in that rather than having a dictatorship impose order through force, the tory corporatist culture is already settled and on-going...

 policies to develop the domestic market as the engine of growth.
Discussion
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Quotations

Forever poised between a cliché and an indiscretion.

Newsweek, 30 April 1956.

Indeed, let us be frank about it. Most of our people have never had it so good.

"More production 'the only answer' to inflation", The Times, 22 July 1957, p. 4.

I'd like that translated, if I may.

"Mr Macmillan seeks end to world fear", The Times, 30 September 1960, p. 12.

The sale of assets is common with individuals and states when they run into financial difficulties. First, all the Georgian silver goes, and then all that nice furniture that used to be in the saloon. Then the Canalettos go.

"Stockton attacks Thatcher policies", The Times, 9 November 1985, p. 1.
Encyclopedia
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, PC (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963.

Nickname
Nickname
A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

d 'Supermac
Supermac (cartoon)
"Super-Mac" was the subject of a cartoon - "Introducing Super-Mac" - by "Vicky" in the Evening Standard in London, England, on 6 November 1958....

' and known for his pragmatism
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

, wit and unflappability, Macmillan achieved notoriety before the Second World War as a Tory radical and critic of appeasement
Appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

. Rising to high office as a protégé of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, he believed in the essential decency of the post-war settlement
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

 and the necessity of a mixed economy
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

, and in his premiership pursued corporatist
Tory corporatism
Tory corporatism is a corporatist political culture that is distinct from fascist corporatism in that rather than having a dictatorship impose order through force, the tory corporatist culture is already settled and on-going...

 policies to develop the domestic market as the engine of growth. As a One Nation Tory
One Nation Conservatism
One nation, one nation conservatism, and Tory democracy are terms used in political debate in the United Kingdom to refer to a certain wing of the Conservative Party...

 of the Disraelian tradition, haunted by memories of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, he championed a Keynesian strategy of public investment to maintain demand
Demand management
Demand management is a planning methodology used to manage forecasted demand.-Demand management in economics:In economics, demand management is the art or science of controlling economic demand to avoid a recession...

, winning a second term in 1959 on an electioneering budget. Benefiting from favourable international conditions, he presided over an age of affluence, marked by low unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 and high if uneven growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

. In his Bedford
Bedford
Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is a large town and the administrative centre for the wider Borough of Bedford. According to the former Bedfordshire County Council's estimates, the town had a population of 79,190 in mid 2005, with 19,720 in the adjacent town...

 speech of July 1957 he told the nation they had 'never had it so good', but warned of the dangers of inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

, summing up the fragile prosperity of the 1950s.

In international affairs, Macmillan rebuilt the special relationship with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 from the wreckage of the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 (of which he had been one of the architects), and redrew the world map by decolonising sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

. Reconfiguring the nation's defences to meet the realities of the nuclear age, he ended National Service
Conscription in the United Kingdom
Conscription in the United Kingdom has existed for two periods in modern times. The first was from 1916 to 1919, the second was from 1939 to 1960, with the last conscripted soldiers leaving the service in 1963...

, strengthened the nuclear deterrent
Nuclear weapons and the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom was the third country to test an independently developed nuclear weapon, in October 1952. It is one of the five "Nuclear Weapons States" under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the UK ratified in 1968...

 by acquiring Polaris, and pioneered the Nuclear Test Ban
Partial Test Ban Treaty
The treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water, often abbreviated as the Partial Test Ban Treaty , Limited Test Ban Treaty , or Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is a treaty prohibiting all test detonations of nuclear weapons...

 with the United States and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Belatedly recognising the dangers of strategic dependence, he sought a new role for Britain in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, but his unwillingness to disclose United States nuclear secrets
Nuclear weapons and the United States
The United States was the first country to develop nuclear weapons, and is the only country to have used them in warfare, with the separate bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Before and during the Cold War it conducted over a thousand nuclear tests and developed many long-range...

 to France contributed to a French veto of the United Kingdom's entry into the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

.

Macmillan's government in its final year was rocked by the Vassall
John Vassall
William John Christopher Vassall was a British civil servant who, under pressure of blackmail, spied for the Soviet Union....

 and Profumo
Profumo Affair
The Profumo Affair was a 1963 British political scandal named after John Profumo, Secretary of State for War. His affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Russian spy, followed by lying in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it, forced the resignation of...

 scandals, which seemed to symbolise for the rebellious youth
Anti-establishment
An anti-establishment view or belief is one which stands in opposition to the conventional social, political, and economic principles of a society. The term was first used in the modern sense in 1958, by the British magazine New Statesman to refer to its political and social agenda...

 of the 1960s the moral decay of the British establishment. Resigning prematurely after a medical misdiagnosis, Macmillan lived out a long retirement as an elder statesman of global stature. He was as trenchant a critic of his successors in his old age as he had been of his predecessors in his youth. When asked what represented the greatest challenge for a statesman, Macmillan replied: 'Events, my dear boy, events'.

Family


Harold Macmillan was born at 52 Cadogan Place
Cadogan Place
Cadogan Place is a street in Belgravia, London. It is named after Earl Cadogan and runs parallel to the lower half of Sloane Street.-Literary references:Charles Dickens writes of it in Nicholas Nickleby:...

 in Chelsea
Chelsea, London
Chelsea is an area of West London, England, bounded to the south by the River Thames, where its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above...

, London, to Maurice Crawford Macmillan (1853–1936), publisher, and Helen (Nellie) Artie Tarleton Belles (1856–1937), artist and socialite, from Spencer, Indiana
Spencer, Indiana
Spencer is a town in Washington Township, Owen County, Indiana, United States. The population was 2,217 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Owen County.Spencer is part of the Bloomington, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. He had two brothers, Daniel, eight years his senior, and Arthur, four years his senior. His paternal grandfather, Daniel MacMillan
Daniel MacMillan
Daniel MacMillan was a Scottish publisher from the Isle of Arran, Scotland.Daniel MacMillan was born in the Isle of Arran to a crofting family...

 (1813–1857), was the son of a Scottish crofter who founded Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers Ltd, also known as The Macmillan Group, is a privately held international publishing company owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. It has offices in 41 countries worldwide and operates in more than thirty others.-History:...

.

Education


Macmillan's early education was intense and closely guided by his American mother. He was taught French at home every morning by a succession of nursery maids, and exercised daily at Mr Macpherson's Gymnasium and Dancing Academy, around the corner from the family home in Cadogan Place. From the age of six or seven he received introductory lessons in classical Latin and Greek at Mr Gladstone's day school, close by in Sloane Square
Sloane Square
Sloane Square is a small hard-landscaped square on the boundaries of the fashionable London districts of Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea, located southwest of Charing Cross, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The square is part of the Hans Town area designed in 1771 by Henry...

.

Macmillan then attended Summer Fields School
Summer Fields School
Summer Fields is a boys' independent preparatory school based in Summertown, Oxford, England.-History:Originally called Summerfield, it became a Boys' Preparatory School in 1864 with seven pupils. Its owner, Archibald Maclaren, was a fencing teacher who ran a gymnasium in Oxford; he himself was...

, Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 (1903–6), but his time at Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 (1906–10) was blighted by recurrent illness, starting with a near-fatal attack of pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 in his first half; he missed his final year after being invalided out, and had to be taught at home by private tutors (1910–11), notably Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

, who did much to instil his High Church
High church
The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality, and resistance to "modernization." Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the...

 Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

. He went up to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

 (1912–14), where he obtained a First in Mods (Latin and Greek, the first half of the four-year Oxford Greats
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 course), and became an officer of the Oxford Union Society, before the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914.

War service


Macmillan served with distinction as a captain in the Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

 during the First World War, and was wounded on three occasions. During the Battle of the Somme, he spent an entire day wounded and lying in a slit trench with a bullet in his pelvis, reading the classical Greek playwright Aeschylus
Aeschylus
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

 in the original language. Macmillan spent the final two years of the war in hospital undergoing a long series of operations, and saw no further active service. His hip wound took four years to heal completely, and he was left with a slight shuffle to his walk and a limp grip in his right hand from a separate wound. As was common for contemporary former officers, he continued to be known as 'Captain Macmillan' until the early 1930s.

Canadian aide-de-campship


Of the 28 freshmen who started at Balliol with Macmillan, only he and one other survived. As a result, he refused to return to Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, saying the university would never be the same. He served instead in Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, in 1919 as ADC
Aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 to Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire , known as Victor Cavendish until 1908, was a British politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 11th since Canadian Confederation....

, then Governor General of Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

, and his future father-in-law.

Publishing


On his return to London in 1920 he joined the family firm Macmillan Publishers as a junior partner, remaining with the company until his appointment to ministerial office in 1940.

Marriage


Macmillan married Lady Dorothy Cavendish
Lady Dorothy Macmillan
Lady Dorothy Evelyn Macmillan GBE was a daughter of the 9th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and the wife of the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.-Family life:...

, the daughter of the 9th Duke of Devonshire
Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire , known as Victor Cavendish until 1908, was a British politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 11th since Canadian Confederation....

, on 21 April 1920. Her great-uncle was Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire
Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire
Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire KG, GCVO, PC, PC , styled Lord Cavendish of Keighley between 1834 and 1858 and Marquess of Hartington between 1858 and 1891, was a British statesman...

, who was leader of the Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 in the 1870s, and a close colleague of William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

, Joseph Chamberlain
Joseph Chamberlain
Joseph Chamberlain was an influential British politician and statesman. Unlike most major politicians of the time, he was a self-made businessman and had not attended Oxford or Cambridge University....

 and Lord Salisbury. Lady Dorothy was also descended from William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, KG, PC , styled Lord Cavendish before 1729 and Marquess of Hartington between 1729 and 1755, was a British Whig statesman who was briefly nominal Prime Minister of Great Britain...

, who served as Prime Minister from 1756–1757 in communion with Newcastle and Pitt the Elder
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during the Seven Years' War...

. Her nephew William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington married Kathleen
Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington
Kathleen Agnes "Kick" Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington , born Kathleen Agnes Kennedy, was the fourth child and second daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. She was a sister of future U.S. President John F. Kennedy and widow of the heir to the Dukedom of Devonshire.-Biography:When...

, a sister of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

. In 1929 Lady Dorothy began a life-long affair with the Conservative politician Robert Boothby, an arrangement which scandalised high society but remained unknown to the general public. The stress caused by this may have contributed to Macmillan's nervous breakdown in 1931.

The Macmillans had four children:
  • Maurice Macmillan, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden (1921–1984)
  • Lady Caroline Faber
    Lady Caroline Faber
    Lady Ann Caroline Macmillan is the daughter of Harold Macmillan and his wife Lady Dorothy Cavendish. She is the second of their four children, and since the death of her younger sister in 1991, she has been their only surviving child....

     (born 1923)
  • Lady Catherine Amery
    Julian Amery, Baron Amery of Lustleigh
    Harold Julian Amery, Baron Amery of Lustleigh, PC was a British politician of the Conservative Party, who served as a Member of Parliament for 39 of the 42 years between 1950 and 1992. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1960. He was created a life peer upon his retirement from the House of...

     (1926–1991)
  • Sarah Heath (1930–1970)


Lady Dorothy died on 21 May 1966, aged 65.

Macmillan was in close friendship in old age with Ava Anderson, Viscountess Waverley, née Bodley (1896-1973), the widow of John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley
John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley
John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, PC, PC was a British civil servant then politician who served as a minister under Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill as Home Secretary, Lord President of the Council and Chancellor of the Exchequer...

.
Eileen O'Casey, née Reynolds (1900-1995), the actress wife of Irish dramatist Seán O'Casey
Seán O'Casey
Seán O'Casey was an Irish dramatist and memoirist. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.- Early life:...

, was another female friend of Macmillan, who published her husband's plays. Although she is said to have replaced Lady Dorothy in Macmillan's affections, there is disagreement over how intimate they became after the death of their respective spouses, and whether he proposed.

Private Member (1924–1929, 1931–1940)


Elected to the House of Commons in 1924
United Kingdom general election, 1924
- Seats summary :- References :* F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987* - External links :* * *...

 for the depressed northern industrial constituency of Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton-on-Tees (UK Parliament constituency)
Stockton-on-Tees is a former borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election....

, Macmillan lost his seat in 1929
United Kingdom general election, 1929
-Seats summary:-References:*F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987*-External links:***...

 in the face of high regional unemployment, but returned in 1931
United Kingdom general election, 1931
The United Kingdom general election on Tuesday 27 October 1931 was the last in the United Kingdom not held on a Thursday. It was also the last election, and the only one under universal suffrage, where one party received an absolute majority of the votes cast.The 1931 general election was the...

. He spent the 1930s on the backbenches, with his championing of economic planning
Economic planning
Economic planning refers to any directing or planning of economic activity outside the mechanisisms of the market, in an attempt to achieve specific economic or social outcomes. Planning is an economic mechanism for resource allocation and decision-making in contrast with the market mechanism...

, anti-appeasement ideals and sharp criticism of Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

 and Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

 serving to isolate him from the party leadership. During this time (1938) he published the first edition of his book The Middle Way, which advocated a broadly centrist political philosophy both domestically and internationally.

Supply Parliamentary Secretary (1940–1942)


In the Second World War Macmillan at last attained office, serving in the wartime coalition government as the Parliamentary Secretary
Parliamentary Secretary
A Parliamentary Secretary is a member of a Parliament in the Westminster system who assists a more senior minister with his or her duties.In the parliamentary systems of several Commonwealth countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, it is customary for the prime minister to...

 to the Ministry of Supply
Ministry of Supply
The Ministry of Supply was a department of the UK Government formed in 1939 to co-ordinate the supply of equipment to all three British armed forces, headed by the Minister of Supply. There was, however, a separate ministry responsible for aircraft production and the Admiralty retained...

 from 1940 to 1942. The task of the department was to provide armaments and other equipment to the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

. Macmillan travelled up and down the country to co-ordinate production, working with some success under Lord Beaverbrook to increase the supply and quality of armoured vehicles
Armoured fighting vehicle
An armoured fighting vehicle is a combat vehicle, protected by strong armour and armed with weapons. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked....

.

Colonial Under-Secretary (1942)


Macmillan was appointed as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies was a junior Ministerial post in the United Kingdom government, subordinate to the Secretary of State for the Colonies and, from 1948, also to a Minister of State....

 in 1942, in his own words, 'leaving a madhouse in order to enter a mausoleum'. Though a junior minister he was sworn of the Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

 and spoke in the House of Commons for successive Colonial Secretaries
Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

 Lord Moyne
Walter Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne
Walter Edward Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne DSO & Bar PC was a Anglo-Irish politician and businessman. He served as the British minister of state in the Middle East until November 1944, when he was assassinated by the militant Jewish Zionist group Lehi...

 and Lord Cranborne
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Arthur James Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury, KG, PC , known as Viscount Cranborne from 1903 to 1947, was a British Conservative politician.-Background:...

. Macmillan was given responsibility for increasing colonial production and trade, and signalled the future direction of British policy when in June 1942 he declared:

Minister Resident in the Mediterranean (1942–1945)



Macmillan attained real power and Cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

 rank upon being sent to North Africa in 1942 as British government representative to the Allies in the Mediterranean, reporting directly to Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 over the head of the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957...

. During this assignment Macmillan served as liaison and mediator between Churchill and US General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 in North Africa
North African campaign
During the Second World War, the North African Campaign took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia .The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had...

, building a rapport with the latter that would prove helpful in his later career.

As minister resident with a roving commission
Roving commission
A roving commission details the duties of a commissioned officer or other official whose responsibilities are neither geographically nor functionally limited....

, Macmillan also the minister advising General Keightley
Charles Keightley
General Sir Charles Frederic Keightley, GCB, GBE, DSO was a senior officer in the British Army during and following World War II.-Military career:...

 of V Corps
V Corps (United Kingdom)
V Corps was an army corps of the British Army in both the First and Second World War. It was first organised in February 1915 and fought through World War I on the Western front...

, the senior Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 commander in Austria responsible for Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul was carried out in Northern Italy by British and American forces to repatriate Soviet Armed Forces POWs of the Nazis to the Soviet Union between August 14, 1946 and May 9, 1947...

, which included the forced repatriation of up to 70,000 prisoners of war to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

's Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 in 1945. The deportations and Macmillan's involvement later became a source of controversy because of the harsh treatment meted out to Nazi collaborators
Collaboration during World War II
Within nations occupied by the Axis Powers, some citizens, driven by nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, anti-Semitism or opportunism, knowingly engaged in collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II...

 and anti-partisans by the receiving countries, and because in the confusion V Corps went beyond the terms agreed at Yalta
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

 and Allied Forces Headquarters
Allied Forces Headquarters
Allied Force Headquarters was the headquarters that controlled all Allied operational forces in the Mediterranean Theatre of World War II from late 1942 to the end of the war....

 directives by repatriating 4000 White Russian
Byelorussian SSR
The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic was one of fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union. It was one of the four original founding members of the Soviet Union in 1922, together with the Ukrainian SSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic...

 troops and 11,000 civilian family members who could not properly be regarded as Soviet citizens.

Air Secretary (1945)


Macmillan returned to England after the European war and was Secretary of State for Air
Secretary of State for Air
The Secretary of State for Air was a cabinet level British position. The person holding this position was in charge of the Air Ministry. It was created on 10 January 1919 to manage the Royal Air Force...

 for two months in Churchill's caretaker government, 'much of which was taken up in electioneering', there being 'nothing much to be done in the way of forward planning'. He felt himself 'almost a stranger at home', and lost his seat in the landslide Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 victory of 1945, but soon returned to Parliament in a November 1945 by-election in Bromley
Bromley (UK Parliament constituency)
Bromley is a former borough constituency in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. Its best-known MP was Harold Macmillan ....

.

Housing Minister (1951–1954)


With the Conservative victory in 1951
United Kingdom general election, 1951
The 1951 United Kingdom general election was held eighteen months after the 1950 general election, which the Labour Party had won with a slim majority of just five seats...

 Macmillan became Minister of Housing
Ministry of Housing and Local Government
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government was a United Kingdom government department formed after the Second World War, covering the areas of housing and local government....

 under Churchill, who entrusted Macmillan with fulfilling the latter's conference promise to build 300,000 houses per year. 'It is a gamble—it will make or mar your political career,' Churchill said, 'but every humble home will bless your name if you succeed.' Macmillan achieved the target a year ahead of schedule.

Defence Minister (1954–1955)


Macmillan served as Minister of Defence
Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

 from October 1954, but found his authority restricted by Churchill's personal involvement. In the opinion of The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

: 'He gave the impression that his own undoubted capacity for imaginative running of his own show melted way when an august superior was breathing down his neck.'

A major theme of Macmillan's tenure at Defence was the ministry's growing reliance on the nuclear deterrent, in the view of some critics, to the detriment of conventional forces. The Defence White Paper of February 1955, announcing the decision to produce the hydrogen bomb, received bipartisan support.

By this time Macmillan had lost the wire-rimmed glasses, toothy grin and brylcreem
Brylcreem
Brylcreem is a brand of hair styling products for men. The first Brylcreem product was a pomade created in 1928 by County Chemicals at the Chemico Works in Bradford Street, Birmingham, England. The pomade is an emulsion of water and mineral oil stabilised with beeswax.Beecham was the longtime...

ed hair of wartime photographs, and instead grew his hair thick and glossy, had his teeth capped and walked with the ramrod bearing of a former Guards officer—acquiring the distinguished appearance of his later career.

Foreign Secretary (1955)


Macmillan served as Foreign Secretary in April–December 1955 in the government of Anthony Eden. Returning from the Geneva Summit of that year he made headlines by declaring: 'There ain’t gonna be no war.' Of the role of Foreign Secretary Macmillan famously observed:

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1955–1957) and the Suez Crisis


Macmillan served as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 1955–1957. In this office he insisted that Eden's de facto deputy Rab Butler
Rab Butler
Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

 not be treated as senior to him, and threatened resignation until he was allowed to cut bread and milk subsidies. One of Macmillan's innovations at the Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

 was the introduction of premium bonds, announced in his budget of 17 April 1956. Although the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 Opposition initially decried the sale as a 'squalid raffle', it proved an immediate hit with the public. During the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

, according to Shadow Chancellor Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

, Macmillan was 'first in, first out': first very supportive of the invasion, then a prime mover in Britain's withdrawal in the wake of the financial crisis. Following the Egyptian dictator Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

's nationialisation of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 on 26 July 1956 Macmillan wrote in his diary, "If Nasser 'gets away with it', we are done for. The whole Arab world will despise us ... Nuri [es-Said, British-backed prime minister of Iraq] and our friends will fall. It may well be the end of British influence and strength forever. So, in the last resort, we must use force and defy opinion, here and overseas". Macmillan was heavily involved in the secret planning of the invasion with France and Israel. It was Macmillan who first suggested collusion with Israel, in a note to Eden on 3 August 1956 which read, "I feel that we must make use of Israel against Egypt, if the military operation is actually undertaken." Macmillan furthermore suggested the collusion plan to Churchill two days later after a dinner party at Chartwell; Macmillan recalled in his diary that Churchill approved of the plan. He knew U.S. President Eisenhower well, but misjudged the president's opposition to Britain's involvement in the Suez Crisis. Controversially, Macmillan held a secret meeting with Eisenhower at the White House on 25 September 1956 at which he was convinced that the US president would not oppose the Anglo-French attempt to topple Colonel Nasser. He did not recognize the financial implications until they were already close to winning, and then withdrew his support to salvage ties with the U.S., and therefore Britain's economy. Macmillan and Eden were prepared to ride out anti-war protests in Britain but were forced to end the operation when the US threatened to devalue sterling.

The crisis itself called Macmillan's judgment severely into question, for it was he who hysterically insisted that he would pawn every picture in the National Gallery rather than accept humiliation at the hands of Nasser, it was he who pressed for military action without any assurance of American support, and eventually it was he who, having miscalculated the financial position, allegedly threatened to resign if there was not an immediate cease-fire. Macmillan's diaries do not exist for the final stages of the Suez Crisis — the collusion with the Israelis, the launch of the military operation and the financial pressures that halted it. He later told his biographer, Alistair Horne
Alistair Horne
Sir Alistair Allan Horne is a British historian of modern France. He is the son of Sir James Horne and Lady Auriol Horne ....

, that he had destroyed the missing pages at Eden's request.

At a meeting in London on 12 December US Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey told Macmillan that he could have avoided the run on sterling by drawing the gold tranche and arranging a standby from the IMF - as France did - long before the military operation began. In fact, as soon as the invasion of Egypt had begun, Humphrey had instructed his officials to try to unwind the French standby - only to be firmly told this was impossible unless France was put in the dock at the United Nations for threatening world peace. Later that same day, at a NATO meeting in Paris, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

, knowing full well Macmillan's role in colluding with the Israelis and attempting to deceive the United States government, berated him for not following the French by putting in place beforehand the same measures of support for sterling, which would have gone some way to avoid the subsequent failure of the military operation.

In later life Macmillan was open about his failure to read Eisenhower's thoughts correctly and much regretted the damage done to Anglo-American relations. However he maintained for the rest of his life that the Anglo-French military response to the Crisis had been for the best.

Prime Minister (1957–1963)



First government (1957–1959)


Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957...

 resigned in January 1957. At that time the Conservative Party had no formal mechanism for selecting a new leader, effectively leaving the choice of the new leader, and Prime Minister, in the hands of the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen appointed Macmillan Prime Minister over Rab Butler
Rab Butler
Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

 after taking advice from senior Ministers, as well as Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 (who backed Macmillan), Edward Heath
Edward Heath
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

 (who as Chief Whip was aware of backbench opinion) and from Lord Salisbury
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Arthur James Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury, KG, PC , known as Viscount Cranborne from 1903 to 1947, was a British Conservative politician.-Background:...

, who interviewed the Cabinet one by one and with his famous speech impediment asked each one whether he was for "Wab or Hawold" (it is thought that only between one and three were for "Wab"). The advice was overwhelmingly to appoint Macmillan as Prime Minister instead of Butler. The media were taken by surprise by this choice, but Butler himself later confessed in his memoirs that while there was a sizeable anti-Butler faction on the backbenches, there was no such anti-Macmillan faction. The political situation after Suez was so desperate that on taking office on 10 January he told the Queen he could not guarantee his government would last "six weeks" - though ultimately he would be in charge of the government for nearly seven years.

Macmillan sought to placate Butler by appointing him to a senior position, albeit as Home Secretary rather than Foreign Secretary, the job he wanted. In his memoirs, Macmillan claimed that Butler "chose" the Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

, an assertion of which Butler drily observed in his own memoirs that Macmillan's memory "played him false". Macmillan populated his government with many who had studied at the same school as he: he filled government posts with 35 former Etonians, 7 of whom sat in Cabinet. He was also devoted to family members: when Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire
Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire
Andrew Robert Buxton Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire KG, MC, PC , styled Lord Andrew Cavendish until 1944 and Marquess of Hartington from 1944 to 1950, was a British Conservative politician...

 was later appointed (Minister for Colonial Affairs from 1963 to 1964 amongst other positions) he described his uncle's behaviour as 'the greatest act of nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

 ever'.

He was nicknamed Supermac
Supermac (cartoon)
"Super-Mac" was the subject of a cartoon - "Introducing Super-Mac" - by "Vicky" in the Evening Standard in London, England, on 6 November 1958....

 in 1958 by cartoonist Victor 'Vicky' Weisz
Victor Weisz
Victor Weisz was a German-British political cartoonist, drawing under the name of Vicky.- Biography :...

. It was intended as mockery, but backfired, coming to be used in a neutral or friendly fashion. Weisz tried to label him with other names, including "Mac the Knife" at the time of widespread cabinet changes in 1962, but none of these caught on.

Economy


Macmillan brought the monetary concerns of the Exchequer into office; the economy was his prime concern. His One Nation
One Nation Conservatism
One nation, one nation conservatism, and Tory democracy are terms used in political debate in the United Kingdom to refer to a certain wing of the Conservative Party...

 approach to the economy was to seek high or full employment. This contrasted with his mainly monetarist Treasury ministers who argued that any support of sterling required strict controls on money and hence an unavoidable rise in unemployment. Their advice was rejected and in January 1958 the three Treasury ministers Peter Thorneycroft, the Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

, Nigel Birch, Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury is the fifth most senior ministerial post in the UK Treasury, after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Paymaster-General and the Financial Secretary...

, and Enoch Powell
Enoch Powell
John Enoch Powell, MBE was a British politician, classical scholar, poet, writer, and soldier. He served as a Conservative Party MP and Minister of Health . He attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech in opposition to mass immigration from...

, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Financial Secretary to the Treasury is a junior Ministerial post in the British Treasury. It is the 4th most significant Ministerial role within the Treasury after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and the Paymaster General...

, resigned. Macmillan, away on a tour of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, brushed aside this incident as 'a little local difficulty'.

Foreign policy


Macmillan took close control of foreign policy. He worked to narrow the post-Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 rift with the United States, where his wartime friendship with Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 was key; the two had a productive conference in Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

 as early as March 1957.

Petrol rationing was lifted on 15 May 1957. In a two-day debate in the House of Commons on 15-16 May 1957 the government survived a confidence vote on the Suez Crisis, thanks largely to a poorly-received speech by Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell
Hugh Gaitskell
Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell CBE was a British Labour politician, who held Cabinet office in Clement Attlee's governments, and was the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1955, until his death in 1963.-Early life:He was born in Kensington, London, the third and youngest...

 and a well-received speech by Macmillan on the second day. At the end of the debate news came through that the first British hydrogen bomb had been successfully tested, and the next day's newspapers - almost universally unfriendly to Macmillan over Suez - were swamped by coverage of the supposed British triumph.

In February 1959 Macmillan became the first Western leader to visit the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 since the Second World War. Talks with Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 eased tensions in East-West relations over West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

 and led to an agreement in principle to stop nuclear tests and to hold a further summit meeting of Allied and Soviet heads of government.

In the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, faced by the 1958 collapse of the Baghdad Pact and the spread of Soviet influence, Macmillan acted decisively to restore the confidence of Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 allies, using the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and special forces
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 to defeat a revolt backed by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 against the Sultan
Said bin Taimur
Said bin Taimur was the sultan of Muscat and Oman from 10 February 1932 until his overthrow on 23 July 1970. His second wife was Mazoon al-Mashani...

 of Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 in July 1957, deploying airborne battalions to defend Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 against Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n subversion in July 1958, and deterring a threatened Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i invasion of Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 by landing a brigade group in July 1960.

Macmillan was also a major proponent and architect of decolonisation. The Gold Coast
Gold Coast (British colony)
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa that became the independent nation of Ghana in 1957.-Overview:The first Europeans to arrive at the coast were the Portuguese in 1471. They encountered a variety of African kingdoms, some of which controlled substantial...

 was granted independence as Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, and the Federation of Malaya
Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

 achieved independence within the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 in 1957.

Nuclear deterrent



In April 1957 Macmillan reaffirmed his strong support for the British nuclear deterrent. A succession of prime ministers since the Second World War had been determined to persuade the United States to revive wartime co-operation in the area of nuclear weapons research. Macmillan believed that one way to encourage such co-operation would be for the United Kingdom to speed up the development of its own hydrogen bomb, which was successfully tested on 8 November 1957.

Macmillan's decision led to increased demands on the Windscale and (subsequently) Calder Hall nuclear plants to produce plutonium for military purposes. As a result the safety margins of the radioactive materials inside the Windscale reactor were eroded. This contributed to the Windscale accident
Windscale fire
The Windscale fire of 10 October 1957 was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain's history, ranked in severity at level 5 on the 7-point International Nuclear Event Scale. The two piles had been hurriedly built as part of the British atomic bomb project. Windscale Pile No. 1 was operational in...

 on the night of 10 October 1957, in which a fire broke out in the plutonium plant of Pile No. 1, and nuclear contaminants travelled up a chimney where the filters blocked some but not all of the contaminated material. The radioactive cloud spread to south-east England and fallout reached mainland Europe. Although scientists had warned of the dangers of such an accident for some time, the government blamed the workers who had put out the fire for 'an error of judgement', rather than the political pressure for fast-tracking the megaton bomb.

Macmillan, concerned that public confidence in the nuclear programme might be shaken and that technical information might be misused by opponents of defence co-operation in the US Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, withheld all but the summary of a report into the Windscale fire prepared for the Atomic Energy Authority by Sir William Penney
William Penney, Baron Penney
William George Penney, Baron Penney OM, KBE PhD, DSc, , FRS, FRSE, FIC, Hon FCGI was a British mathematician who was responsible for the development of British nuclear technology, following World War II...

, director of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. While subsequently released files show that 'Macmillan's cuts were few and covered up few technical details', and that even the full report at the time found no danger to public health, later official estimates acknowledged the release of polonium-210 may have led directly to 25 to 50 deaths, and anti-nuclear groups linked it to 1,000 fatal cancers.

On 25 March 1957 Macmillan also acceded to Eisenhower's request to base 60 Thor IRBMs in England under joint control, to replace the nuclear bombers of the Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
The Strategic Air Command was both a Major Command of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic...

, which had been stationed under joint control in the country since 1948, and were approaching obsolescence. Partly as a consequence of this favour, in late October 1957, the US McMahon Act was eased to facilitate nuclear co-operation between the two governments, initially with a view to producing cleaner weapons and reducing the need for duplicate testing. The Mutual Defence Agreement
1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement
The 1958 US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement is a bilateral treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom on nuclear weapons cooperation.It was signed after the UK successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb during Operation Grapple. While the U.S...

 followed on 3 July 1958, speeding up British ballistic missile
Ballistic missile
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...

 development, notwithstanding unease expressed at the time about the impetus co-operation might give to atomic proliferation
Nuclear proliferation
Nuclear proliferation is a term now used to describe the spread of nuclear weapons, fissile material, and weapons-applicable nuclear technology and information, to nations which are not recognized as "Nuclear Weapon States" by the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also known as the...

 by arousing the jealousy of France and other allies.

Election campaign (1959)


Macmillan led the Conservatives to victory in the October 1959 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1959
This United Kingdom general election was held on 8 October 1959. It marked a third successive victory for the ruling Conservative Party, led by Harold Macmillan...

, increasing his party's majority from 67 to 107 seats. The successful campaign was based on the economic improvements achieved; the slogan "Life's Better Under the Conservatives" was matched by Macmillan's own remark, '"indeed let us be frank about it — most of our people have never had it so good," usually paraphrased as "You've never had it so good." Such rhetoric reflected a new reality of working-class affluence; it has been argued: "The key factor in the Conservative victory was that average real pay for industrial workers had risen since Churchill’s 1951 victory by over 20 per cent".

The Daily Mirror newspaper, despite being staunch supporters of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, wished Macmillan "good luck" on their front page after his election win.

Economy


Britain's balance of payments
Balance of payments
Balance of payments accounts are an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world.These transactions include payments for the country's exports and imports of goods, services, financial capital, and financial transfers...

 problems led to the imposition of a wage freeze in 1961 and, amongst other factors, this caused the government to lose popularity and a series of by-election
By-election
A by-election is an election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections....

s in March 1962.

Fearing for his own position, Macmillan organised a major Cabinet change in July 1962—also named 'the night of long knives'
Night of the Long Knives (1962)
The epithet Night of the Long Knives is given to July 13, 1962, when the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan sacked the following members of his Cabinet:*Lord Kilmuir — Lord Chancellor*Selwyn Lloyd — Chancellor of the Exchequer...

 as a symbol of his alleged betrayal of the Conservative party. Eight junior Ministers were sacked at the same time. The Cabinet changes were widely seen as a sign of panic, and the young Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 MP Jeremy Thorpe
Jeremy Thorpe
John Jeremy Thorpe is a British former politician who was leader of the Liberal Party from 1967 to 1976 and was the Member of Parliament for North Devon from 1959 to 1979. His political career was damaged when an acquaintance, Norman Scott, claimed to have had a love affair with Thorpe at a time...

 said of Macmillan's dismissal of so many of his colleagues, 'greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his friends for his life'.

Macmillan supported the creation of the National Incomes Commission as a means to institute controls on income as part of his growth-without-inflation policy. A further series of subtle indicators and controls were also introduced during his premiership.

Foreign policy



The special relationship
Special relationship
The Special Relationship is a phrase used to describe the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill...

 with the United States continued after the election of President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, whose sister
Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington
Kathleen Agnes "Kick" Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington , born Kathleen Agnes Kennedy, was the fourth child and second daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. She was a sister of future U.S. President John F. Kennedy and widow of the heir to the Dukedom of Devonshire.-Biography:When...

 had married a nephew of Macmillan's wife
Lady Dorothy Macmillan
Lady Dorothy Evelyn Macmillan GBE was a daughter of the 9th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and the wife of the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.-Family life:...

. The Prime Minister was supportive throughout the Cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 of 1962 and Kennedy consulted him by telephone every day. The British Ambassador David Ormsby-Gore
David Ormsby-Gore, 5th Baron Harlech
William David Ormsby-Gore, 5th Baron Harlech KCMG PC , known as David Ormsby-Gore until 1964, was a British diplomat and Conservative Party politician.-Early life:...

 was a close family friend of the President and actively involved in White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 discussions on how to resolve the crisis.

Macmillan's first government had seen the first phase of the sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

n independence movement, which accelerated under his second government. His celebrated 'wind of change' speech
Wind of Change (speech)
The Wind of Change speech was a historically important address made by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to the Parliament of South Africa, on 3 February 1960 in Cape Town. He had spent a month in Africa visiting a number of British colonies, as they were at the time...

 in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

 on his African tour in February 1960 is considered a landmark in the process of decolonisation.

Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, the Southern Cameroons
Southern Cameroons
Southern Cameroons was the southern part of the British Mandate territory of Cameroons in West Africa. Since 1961 it is part of the Republic of Cameroon, where it makes up the Northwest Province and Southwest Province...

 and British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

 were granted independence in 1960, Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

 and Tanganyika
Tanganyika
Tanganyika , later formally the Republic of Tanganyika, was a sovereign state in East Africa from 1961 to 1964. It was situated between the Indian Ocean and the African Great Lakes of Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika...

 in 1961, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 in 1962, and Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 in 1963. Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

 merged with Tanganyika to form Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 in 1963. All remained within the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 but British Somaliland, which merged with Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

 to form Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

.

Macmillan's policy overrode the hostility of white minorities and the Conservative Monday Club
Conservative Monday Club
The Conservative Monday Club is a British pressure group "on the right-wing" of the Conservative Party.-Overview:...

. South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 left the multiracial Commonwealth in 1961 and Macmillan acquiesced to the dissolution of the Central African Federation by the end of 1963.

In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, Malaya and the then-crown colonies of Sabah (British North Borneo), Sarawak and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 became independent as Malaysia in 1963.

The speedy transfer of power maintained the goodwill of the new nations but critics contended it was premature. In justification Macmillan quoted Lord Macaulay in 1851:

Skybolt crisis


Macmillan cancelled the Blue Streak ballistic missile system
Blue Streak missile
The Blue Streak missile was a British medium range ballistic missile . The Operational Requirement for the missile was issued in 1955 and the design was complete by 1957...

 in April 1960 over concerns about its vulnerability to a pre-emptive attack, but continued with the development of the air launched Blue Steel stand-off bomb
Blue Steel missile
The Avro Blue Steel was a British air-launched, rocket-propelled nuclear stand-off missile, built to arm the V bomber force. It was the primary British nuclear deterrent weapon until the Royal Navy started operating Polaris missile armed nuclear submarines....

, which was about to enter trials. As the eventual replacement for Blue Steel, he opted for Britain to join the American Skybolt missile development project. From the same year Macmillan also permitted the U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 to station Polaris submarines
UGM-27 Polaris
The Polaris missile was a two-stage solid-fuel nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missile built during the Cold War by Lockheed Corporation of California for the United States Navy....

 at Holy Loch, Scotland, as a replacement for Thor. When Skybolt was in turn unilaterally cancelled by U.S. Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

, Macmillan negotiated with President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 the purchase of Polaris missiles from the United States under the Nassau agreement
Nassau agreement
The Nassau Agreement, concluded on 22 December 1962, was a treaty negotiated between President John F. Kennedy for the United States and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan for the United Kingdom...

 in December 1962.

Partial Test Ban Treaty (1962)


Macmillan was also a force in the successful negotiations leading to the signing of the 1962 Partial Test Ban Treaty
Partial Test Ban Treaty
The treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water, often abbreviated as the Partial Test Ban Treaty , Limited Test Ban Treaty , or Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is a treaty prohibiting all test detonations of nuclear weapons...

 by the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union. His previous attempt to create an agreement at the May 1960 summit in Paris had collapsed due to the U-2 Crisis of 1960
U-2 Crisis of 1960
The 1960 U-2 incident occurred during the Cold War on May 1, 1960, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower and during the leadership of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, when a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down over the airspace of the Soviet Union.The United States government at...

.

Europe


Macmillan worked with states outside the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (EEC) to form the European Free Trade Association
European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association or EFTA is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union . EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to,...

 (EFTA), which from 3 May 1960 established a free-trade area between the member countries. Macmillan also saw the value of rapprochement with the EEC, to which his government sought belated entry. In the event, Britain's application to join was vetoed by French president Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 on 29 January 1963, in part due to de Gaulle's fear that 'the end would be a colossal Atlantic Community dependent on America', and in part in anger at the Anglo-American nuclear deal, from which France, technologically lagging far behind, had been excluded.

Profumo affair



The Profumo affair
Profumo Affair
The Profumo Affair was a 1963 British political scandal named after John Profumo, Secretary of State for War. His affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Russian spy, followed by lying in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it, forced the resignation of...

 of 1963 permanently damaged the credibility of Macmillan's government. He survived a Parliamentary vote with a majority of 69, one fewer than had been thought necessary for his survival, and was afterwards joined in the smoking-room only by his son and son-in-law, not by any Cabinet minister. Nonetheless, Butler and Maudling (who was very popular with backbench MPs at that time) declined to push for his resignation, especially after a tide of support from Conservative activists around the country.

Resignation


The Profumo affair may have exacerbated Macmillan's ill-health. He was taken ill on the eve of the Conservative Party conference, diagnosed incorrectly with inoperable prostate cancer. Consequently, he resigned on 18 October 1963. He felt privately that he was being hounded from office by a backbench minority:

Succession


Macmillan asked the party bigwigs to "take soundings" of Cabinet Ministers and MPs to select a consensus candidate as the leader through the "customary processes". In the confusion of the next few days, Rab Butler
Rab Butler
Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

 found himself sidelined after delivering a poor Conference speech. Lord Hailsham
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

 was rejected after using the Conference to campaign openly for the job in a manner considered vulgar at the time. Support gathered around the outside candidate Lord Home
Alec Douglas-Home
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

. Much ink has been spilled on how badly the consultation process was rigged, but in the end Macmillan recommended Home for the premiership. It was alleged that Macmillan had pulled strings and utilised the party's grandees, nicknamed 'The Magic Circle', to ensure that Butler was not chosen as his successor.

Macmillan initially refused a peerage and retired from politics in September 1964, a month before the 1964
United Kingdom general election, 1964
The United Kingdom general election of 1964 was held on 15 October 1964, more than five years after the preceding election, and thirteen years after the Conservative Party had retaken power...

 election which the Conservatives narrowly lost to Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, now led by Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

.

Oxford Chancellor (1960–1986)


Macmillan had been elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1960, in a campaign masterminded by Hugh Trevor-Roper, and continued in this distinguished office for life, frequently presiding over college events, making speeches and tirelessly raising funds. According to Sir Patrick Neill QC, the vice-chancellor, Macmillan 'would talk late into the night with eager groups of students who were often startled by the radical views he put forward, well into his last decade.'

Return to publishing


In retirement Macmillan also took up the chairmanship of his family's publishing house, Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers Ltd, also known as The Macmillan Group, is a privately held international publishing company owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. It has offices in 41 countries worldwide and operates in more than thirty others.-History:...

, from 1964 to 1974. He brought out a six-volume autobiography:
  1. Winds of Change, 1914–1939 (1966) ISBN 0333066391
  2. The Blast of War, 1939–1945 (1967) ISBN 0333003586
  3. Tides of Fortune, 1945–1955 (1969) ISBN 0333040775
  4. Riding the Storm, 1956–1959 (1971) ISBN 0333103106
  5. Pointing the Way, 1959–1961 (1972) ISBN 0333124111
  6. At the End of the Day, 1961–1963 (1973) ISBN 0333124138


The read was described by Macmillan's political enemy Enoch Powell
Enoch Powell
John Enoch Powell, MBE was a British politician, classical scholar, poet, writer, and soldier. He served as a Conservative Party MP and Minister of Health . He attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech in opposition to mass immigration from...

 as inducing 'a sensation akin to that of chewing on cardboard'. His wartime diaries were better received.
  • War Diaries: Politics and War in the Mediterranean, January 1943 – May 1945 (London: St. Martin's Press, 1984) ISBN 0312855664

Political interventions


Macmillan made occasional political interventions in retirement. Responding to a remark made by Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

 about not having boots in which to go to school, Macmillan retorted: 'If Mr Wilson did not have boots to go to school that is because he was too big for them.'

Macmillan accepted the distinction of the Order of Merit from the Queen in 1976. In October of that year he called for 'a Government of National Unity', including all parties, that could command the public support to resolve the economic crisis. Asked who could lead such a coalition, he replied: "Mr Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

 formed his last Government when he was eighty-three. I'm only eighty-two. You mustn't put temptation in my way." His plea was interpreted by party leaders as a bid for power and rejected.

Macmillan still travelled widely, visiting China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in October 1979, where he held talks with its leader, senior Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

.

Relations with Margaret Thatcher


Macmillan found himself drawn more actively into politics after Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 became Conservative leader in February 1975, and Prime Minister in May 1979 when the Tories ended Labour's five-year rule with an election win
United Kingdom general election, 1979
The United Kingdom general election of 1979 was held on 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats...

, and the record of his own premiership came under attack from the monetarists in the party, whose theories she supported. In a celebrated speech he wondered aloud where such theories had come from:
On Macmillan's advice in April 1982 Thatcher excluded the Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

 from her Falklands
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

 War Cabinet. She later said: 'I never regretted following Harold Macmillan's advice. We were never tempted to compromise the security of our forces for financial reasons. Everything we did was governed by military necessity.'

Macmillan finally accepted a peerage on 10 February 1984 and was created Earl of Stockton and Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden. He took the title from his former parliamentary seat on the border of the Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

 coalfields, and in his maiden speech in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 he criticised Thatcher's handling of the coal miners' strike
UK miners' strike (1984–1985)
The UK miners' strike was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry. It was a defining moment in British industrial relations, and its defeat significantly weakened the British trades union movement...

 and her characterisation of striking miners as 'the enemy within'. He received an unprecedented standing ovation for his oration which included the words:
As Chancellor of Oxford Lord Stockton condemned the university's refusal in February 1985 to award Thatcher an honorary degree. He noted that the decision represented a break with tradition, and predicted that the snub would rebound on the university.

Stockton is widely supposed to have likened Margaret Thatcher's policy of privatisation to 'selling the family silver'. His precise quote, at a dinner of the Tory Reform Group
Tory Reform Group
The Tory Reform Group is a group aligned to, but independent of, the British Conservative Party, that works to promote the values of the One Nation Tory vision...

 at the Royal Overseas League on 8 November 1985, was on the subject of the sale of assets commonplace among individuals or states when they encountered financial difficulties: 'First of all the Georgian
Georgian era
The Georgian era is a period of British history which takes its name from, and is normally defined as spanning the reigns of, the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain : George I, George II, George III and George IV...

 silver goes. And then all that nice furniture that used to be in the salon. Then the Canaletto
Canaletto
Giovanni Antonio Canal better known as Canaletto , was a Venetian painter famous for his landscapes, or vedute, of Venice. He was also an important printmaker in etching.- Early career :...

s go.' Profitable parts of the steel industry and the railways had been privatised, along with British Telecom
BT Group
BT Group plc is a global telecommunications services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world and has operations in more than 170 countries. Through its BT Global Services division it is a major supplier of...

: 'They were like two Rembrandts still left.'

Stockton's speech was much commented on and a few days later he made a speech in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

, referring to it:
In the last month of his life, he mournfully observed:

Death and funeral



In November 1985 Macmillan, who had long suffered from gout, was seriously ill with pleurisy, and by the end of the year he was almost completely blind. An attack of shingles put strain on his heart. After awarding King Juan Carlos of Spain an honorary degree in the spring of 1986 he was once again laid low with pleurisy. After recovering he visited Chatsworth and Scotland in the summer of 1986 before making his final visit to Oxford.

Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, died on 29 December 1986, at Birch Grove, the Macmillan family mansion on the edge of Ashdown Forest
Ashdown Forest
Ashdown Forest is an ancient area of tranquil open heathland occupying the highest sandy ridge-top of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is situated some south of London in the county of East Sussex, England...

 near Chelwood Gate in East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

. He was aged 92 years and 322 days—the greatest age attained by a British Prime Minister until surpassed by James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

 on 14 February 2005.
His grandson and heir Alexander, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden
Alexander Macmillan, 2nd Earl of Stockton
Alexander Daniel Alan Macmillan, 2nd Earl of Stockton is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He is the first son of the late Conservative politician Maurice Macmillan and the first grandson of former prime minister Harold Macmillan.-Life:Lord Stockton was educated at Eton...

, said: 'In the last 48 hours he was very weak but entirely reasonable and intelligent. His last words were, "I think I will go to sleep now".'

Margaret Thatcher, on receiving the news, hailed him as 'a very remarkable man and a very great patriot', and said that his dislike of 'selling the family silver' had never come between them. He was 'unique in the affection of the British people'.

Tributes came from around the world. US President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 said: 'The American people share in the loss of a voice of wisdom and humanity who, with eloquence and gentle wit, brought to the problems of today the experience of a long life of public service.' Outlawed African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 president Oliver Tambo
Oliver Tambo
Oliver Reginald Tambo was a South African anti-apartheid politician and a central figure in the African National Congress .-Biography:Oliver Tambo was born in Bizana in eastern Pondoland in what is now Eastern Cape...

 sent his condolences: 'As South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

ns we shall always remember him for his efforts to encourage the apartheid regime to bow to the winds of change
Winds of Change
Winds of Change is a fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey. It is the second book in the Mage Winds Trilogy, in order between Winds of Fate and Winds of Fury. The book was first released in August 1994.- Synopsis :...

 that continue to blow in South Africa.' Commonwealth Secretary-General
Commonwealth Secretary-General
The Commonwealth Secretary-General is the head of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the central body which has served the Commonwealth of Nations since its establishment in 1965, and responsible for representing the Commonwealth publicly...

 Sir Shridath Ramphal
Shridath Ramphal
Sir Shridath Surendranath "Sonny" Ramphal, GCMG, AC, ONZ, OE, OM, QC, FRSA served as the second Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1975-1990. Ramphal previously served as the Foreign Minister of Guyana from 1972-1975...

 affirmed: 'His own leadership in providing from Britain a worthy response to African national consciousness shaped the post-war era and made the modern Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 possible.'

A private funeral was held on 5 January 1987 at St Giles Church, Horsted Keynes
Horsted Keynes
Horsted Keynes is a village and civil parish in the Mid Sussex District of West Sussex, England. The village is located about eight kilometres north east of Haywards Heath, in the Weald...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, where Lord Stockton had regularly worshipped and read the lesson. Two hundred mourners attended, including 64 members of the Macmillan family, Thatcher and former premiers Lord Home of the Hirsel
Alec Douglas-Home
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

 and Edward Heath
Edward Heath
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

, Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

, and 'scores of country neighbours'. The Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

 sent a wreath 'in admiring memory'. Stockton was buried beside his wife, Lady Dorothy
Lady Dorothy Macmillan
Lady Dorothy Evelyn Macmillan GBE was a daughter of the 9th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and the wife of the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.-Family life:...

, and next to the graves of his parents and of his son, Maurice Macmillan.

The House of Commons paid its tribute on 12 January 1987, with much reference made to the dead statesman's book, The Middle Way
The Middle Way
The Middle Way is a book on political philosophy written by Harold Macmillan and first published in 1938 )...

. Thatcher said: 'In his retirement Harold Macmillan occupied a unique place in the nation's affections', while Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 leader Neil Kinnock
Neil Kinnock
Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock is a Welsh politician belonging to the Labour Party. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1970 until 1995 and as Labour Leader and Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition from 1983 until 1992 - his leadership of the party during nearly nine years making him...

 struck a more critical note:
A public memorial service, attended by the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 and thousands of mourners, was held on 10 February 1987 in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

.

Stockton's son Maurice had become heir to the earldom, but predeceased him suddenly a month after his father's elevation. The 1st Earl was succeeded instead by his grandson, Maurice's son, Alexander, Lord Macmillan, who become the 2nd Earl of Stockton.

Titles from birth to death

  • Harold Macmillan, Esq (10 February 1894 – 29 October 1924)
  • Harold Macmillan, Esq, MP (29 October 1924 – 30 May 1929)
  • Harold Macmillan, Esq (30 May 1929 – 4 November 1931)
  • Harold Macmillan, Esq, MP (4 November 1931–1942)
  • The Right Honourable Harold Macmillan, MP (1942 – 26 July 1945)
  • The Right Honourable Harold Macmillan (26 July 1945 – November 1945)
  • The Right Honourable Harold Macmillan, MP (November 1945 – 15 September 1964)
  • The Right Honourable Harold Macmillan (15 September 1964 – 2 April 1976)
  • The Right Honourable Harold Macmillan, OM (2 April 1976 – 24 February 1984)
  • The Right Honourable The Earl of Stockton, OM, PC (24 February 1984 – 29 December 1986)

Cabinets


For a full list of Ministerial office-holders, see Conservative Government 1957-1964
Conservative Government 1957-1964
In January 1957 Sir Anthony Eden resigned from his positions of Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This was mainly a consequence of the Suez Crisis fiasco of the previous autumn but also due to his increasingly failing health...

.

January 1957 – October 1959

  • Harold Macmillan: Prime Minister
  • Lord Kilmuir
    David Maxwell Fyfe, 1st Earl of Kilmuir
    David Patrick Maxwell Fyfe, 1st Earl of Kilmuir GCVO, PC, KC, , known as Sir David Maxwell Fyfe from 1942 to 1954 and as The Viscount Kilmuir from 1954 to 1962, was a British Conservative politician, lawyer and judge who combined an industrious and precocious legal career with political ambitions...

    : Lord Chancellor
    Lord Chancellor
    The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

  • Lord Salisbury
    Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury
    Robert Arthur James Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury, KG, PC , known as Viscount Cranborne from 1903 to 1947, was a British Conservative politician.-Background:...

    : Lord President of the Council
    Lord President of the Council
    The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord High Treasurer and above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends each meeting of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch's approval...

  • Rab Butler
    Rab Butler
    Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

    : Lord Privy Seal
    Lord Privy Seal
    The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

     and Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Peter Thorneycroft: Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

  • Selwyn Lloyd
    Selwyn Lloyd
    John Selwyn Brooke Lloyd, Baron Selwyn-Lloyd CH PC CBE TD , known for most of his career as Selwyn Lloyd, was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Foreign Secretary from 1955 to 1960, then as Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1962...

    : Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  • Alan Lennox-Boyd: Secretary of State for the Colonies
    Secretary of State for the Colonies
    The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

  • Lord Home
    Alec Douglas-Home
    Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

    : Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations was a British Cabinet office existing between 1947 and 1966, responsible for dealing with British relationship with members of the Commonwealth of Nations . The position was created out of the old position of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs...

  • Sir David Eccles
    David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles
    David McAdam Eccles, 1st Baron Eccles and 1st Viscount Eccles, CH, KCVO, MP, PC was an English Conservative politician....

    : President of the Board of Trade
  • Charles Hill
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton PC was a British administrator, doctor and television executive.Charles Hill was born in Islington, London and was educated at St Olave's Grammar School in Southwark, London. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge where he gained a first class degree...

    : Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a ministerial office in the government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster...

  • Lord Hailsham
    Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
    For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

    : Minister of Education
  • John Scott Maclay: Secretary of State for Scotland
    Secretary of State for Scotland
    The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...

  • Derick Heathcoat Amory
    Derick Heathcoat Amory
    Derick Heathcoat-Amory, 1st Viscount Amory was a British Conservative politician. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1958 to 1960 and as Chancellor of the University of Exeter from 1972 to 1981.-Background and education:...

    : Minister of Agriculture
    Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The post was originally named President of the Board of Agriculture and was created in 1889...

  • Iain Macleod
    Iain Macleod
    Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

    : Minister of Labour and National Service
    Secretary of State for Employment
    The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...

  • Harold Arthur Watkinson
    Harold Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson
    Harold Arthur Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson CH, PC was a British businessman and Conservative politician. He was Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation between 1955 and 1959 and a cabinet member as Minister of Defence between 1959 and 1962, when he was sacked in the Night of the Long Knives...

    : Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
  • Duncan Edwin Sandys: Minister of Defence
    Minister of Defence (UK)
    The post of Minister of Defence was responsible for co-ordination of defence and security from its creation in 1940 until its abolition in 1964. The post was a Cabinet level post and generally ranked above the three service ministers, some of whom, however, continued to also serve in...

  • Lord Mills: Minister of Power
  • Henry Brooke: Minister of Housing and Local Government and Welsh Affairs


Change
  • March 1957 – Lord Home succeeds Lord Salisbury as Lord President, remaining also Commonwealth Relations Secretary.
  • September 1957 – Lord Hailsham succeeds Lord Home as Lord President, Home remaining Commonwealth Relations Secretary. Geoffrey Lloyd succeeds Hailsham as Minister of Education. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

    , enters the Cabinet.
  • January 1958 – Derick Heathcoat Amory succeeds Peter Thorneycroft as Chancellor of the Exchequer. John Hare
    John Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham
    John Hugh Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham OBE, PC, DL , was a British Conservative politician.-Background and education:...

     succeeds Amory as Minister of Agriculture.

October 1959 – July 1960

  • Harold Macmillan: Prime Minister
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

  • Lord Kilmuir: Lord Chancellor
    Lord Chancellor
    The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

  • Lord Home
    Alec Douglas-Home
    Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

    : Lord President of the Council
    Lord President of the Council
    The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord High Treasurer and above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends each meeting of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch's approval...

     and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations was a British Cabinet office existing between 1947 and 1966, responsible for dealing with British relationship with members of the Commonwealth of Nations . The position was created out of the old position of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs...

  • Lord Hailsham
    Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
    For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

    : Lord Privy Seal
    Lord Privy Seal
    The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

     and Minister of Science
  • Derick Heathcoat Amory
    Derick Heathcoat Amory
    Derick Heathcoat-Amory, 1st Viscount Amory was a British Conservative politician. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1958 to 1960 and as Chancellor of the University of Exeter from 1972 to 1981.-Background and education:...

    : Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

  • Rab Butler
    Rab Butler
    Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

    : Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Selwyn Lloyd
    Selwyn Lloyd
    John Selwyn Brooke Lloyd, Baron Selwyn-Lloyd CH PC CBE TD , known for most of his career as Selwyn Lloyd, was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Foreign Secretary from 1955 to 1960, then as Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1962...

    : Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  • Iain Macleod
    Iain Macleod
    Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

    : Secretary of State for the Colonies
    Secretary of State for the Colonies
    The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

  • Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

    : President of the Board of Trade
  • Charles Hill
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton PC was a British administrator, doctor and television executive.Charles Hill was born in Islington, London and was educated at St Olave's Grammar School in Southwark, London. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge where he gained a first class degree...

    : Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a ministerial office in the government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster...

  • Sir David Eccles
    David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles
    David McAdam Eccles, 1st Baron Eccles and 1st Viscount Eccles, CH, KCVO, MP, PC was an English Conservative politician....

    : Minister of Education
  • Lord Mills: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Secretary to the Treasury
    In the United Kingdom, there are several Secretaries to the Treasury, who are junior Treasury ministers nominally acting as secretaries to HM Treasury. The origins of the office are unclear, although it probably originated during Lord Burghley's tenure as Lord Treasurer in the 16th century. The...

  • Ernest Marples
    Ernest Marples
    Alfred Ernest Marples, Baron Marples PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Postmaster General and Minister of Transport. After his retirement from active politics in 1974 Marples was elevated to the peerage...

    : Minister of Transport
    Secretary of State for Transport
    The Secretary of State for Transport is the member of the cabinet responsible for the British Department for Transport. The role has had a high turnover as new appointments are blamed for the failures of decades of their predecessors...

  • Duncan Edwin Sandys: Minister of Aviation
  • Harold Arthur Watkinson
    Harold Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson
    Harold Arthur Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson CH, PC was a British businessman and Conservative politician. He was Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation between 1955 and 1959 and a cabinet member as Minister of Defence between 1959 and 1962, when he was sacked in the Night of the Long Knives...

    : Minister of Defence
    Minister of Defence (UK)
    The post of Minister of Defence was responsible for co-ordination of defence and security from its creation in 1940 until its abolition in 1964. The post was a Cabinet level post and generally ranked above the three service ministers, some of whom, however, continued to also serve in...

  • John Scott Maclay: Secretary of State for Scotland
    Secretary of State for Scotland
    The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...

  • Edward Heath
    Edward Heath
    Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

    : Minister of Labour and National Service
    Secretary of State for Employment
    The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...

  • John Hare
    John Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham
    John Hugh Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham OBE, PC, DL , was a British Conservative politician.-Background and education:...

    : Minister of Agriculture
    Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The post was originally named President of the Board of Agriculture and was created in 1889...

  • Henry Brooke: Minister of Housing and Local Government and Welsh Affairs

July 1960 – October 1961

  • Harold Macmillan: Prime Minister
  • Lord Kilmuir: Lord Chancellor
    Lord Chancellor
    The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

  • Lord Hailsham
    Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
    For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

    : Lord President of the Council
    Lord President of the Council
    The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord High Treasurer and above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends each meeting of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch's approval...

     and Minister of Science
  • Edward Heath
    Edward Heath
    Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

    : Lord Privy Seal
    Lord Privy Seal
    The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

  • Selwyn Lloyd
    Selwyn Lloyd
    John Selwyn Brooke Lloyd, Baron Selwyn-Lloyd CH PC CBE TD , known for most of his career as Selwyn Lloyd, was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Foreign Secretary from 1955 to 1960, then as Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1962...

    : Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

  • Rab Butler
    Rab Butler
    Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

    : Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Lord Home
    Alec Douglas-Home
    Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

    : Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  • Iain Macleod
    Iain Macleod
    Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

    : Secretary of State for the Colonies
    Secretary of State for the Colonies
    The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

  • Duncan Edwin Sandys: Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations was a British Cabinet office existing between 1947 and 1966, responsible for dealing with British relationship with members of the Commonwealth of Nations . The position was created out of the old position of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs...

  • Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

    : President of the Board of Trade
  • Charles Hill
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton PC was a British administrator, doctor and television executive.Charles Hill was born in Islington, London and was educated at St Olave's Grammar School in Southwark, London. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge where he gained a first class degree...

    : Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a ministerial office in the government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster...

  • Sir David Eccles
    David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles
    David McAdam Eccles, 1st Baron Eccles and 1st Viscount Eccles, CH, KCVO, MP, PC was an English Conservative politician....

    : Minister of Education
  • Lord Hailsham
    Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
    For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

    : Minister of Science
  • Lord Mills: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Secretary to the Treasury
    In the United Kingdom, there are several Secretaries to the Treasury, who are junior Treasury ministers nominally acting as secretaries to HM Treasury. The origins of the office are unclear, although it probably originated during Lord Burghley's tenure as Lord Treasurer in the 16th century. The...

  • Ernest Marples
    Ernest Marples
    Alfred Ernest Marples, Baron Marples PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Postmaster General and Minister of Transport. After his retirement from active politics in 1974 Marples was elevated to the peerage...

    : Minister of Transport
  • Peter Thorneycroft: Minister of Aviation
  • Harold Arthur Watkinson
    Harold Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson
    Harold Arthur Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson CH, PC was a British businessman and Conservative politician. He was Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation between 1955 and 1959 and a cabinet member as Minister of Defence between 1959 and 1962, when he was sacked in the Night of the Long Knives...

    : Minister of Defence
    Minister of Defence (UK)
    The post of Minister of Defence was responsible for co-ordination of defence and security from its creation in 1940 until its abolition in 1964. The post was a Cabinet level post and generally ranked above the three service ministers, some of whom, however, continued to also serve in...

  • John Scott Maclay: Secretary of State for Scotland
    Secretary of State for Scotland
    The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...

  • John Hare
    John Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham
    John Hugh Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham OBE, PC, DL , was a British Conservative politician.-Background and education:...

    : Minister of Labour and National Service
    Secretary of State for Employment
    The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...

  • Christopher Soames: Minister of Agriculture
    Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The post was originally named President of the Board of Agriculture and was created in 1889...

  • Henry Brooke: Minister of Housing and Local Government and Welsh Affairs

October 1961 – July 1962

  • Harold Macmillan: Prime Minister
  • Lord Kilmuir: Lord Chancellor
    Lord Chancellor
    The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

  • Lord Hailsham
    Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
    For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

    : Lord President of the Council
    Lord President of the Council
    The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord High Treasurer and above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends each meeting of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch's approval...

     and Minister of Science
  • Edward Heath
    Edward Heath
    Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

    : Lord Privy Seal
    Lord Privy Seal
    The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

  • Selwyn Lloyd
    Selwyn Lloyd
    John Selwyn Brooke Lloyd, Baron Selwyn-Lloyd CH PC CBE TD , known for most of his career as Selwyn Lloyd, was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Foreign Secretary from 1955 to 1960, then as Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1962...

    : Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

  • Rab Butler
    Rab Butler
    Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

    : Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Lord Home
    Alec Douglas-Home
    Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

    : Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  • Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

    : Secretary of State for the Colonies
    Secretary of State for the Colonies
    The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

  • Duncan Edwin Sandys: Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations was a British Cabinet office existing between 1947 and 1966, responsible for dealing with British relationship with members of the Commonwealth of Nations . The position was created out of the old position of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs...

  • Frederick Erroll: President of the Board of Trade
  • Iain Macleod
    Iain Macleod
    Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

    : Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a ministerial office in the government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster...

  • Sir David Eccles
    David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles
    David McAdam Eccles, 1st Baron Eccles and 1st Viscount Eccles, CH, KCVO, MP, PC was an English Conservative politician....

    : Minister of Education
  • Henry Brooke: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Secretary to the Treasury
    In the United Kingdom, there are several Secretaries to the Treasury, who are junior Treasury ministers nominally acting as secretaries to HM Treasury. The origins of the office are unclear, although it probably originated during Lord Burghley's tenure as Lord Treasurer in the 16th century. The...

  • Ernest Marples
    Ernest Marples
    Alfred Ernest Marples, Baron Marples PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Postmaster General and Minister of Transport. After his retirement from active politics in 1974 Marples was elevated to the peerage...

    : Minister of Transport
  • Peter Thorneycroft: Minister of Aviation
  • Harold Arthur Watkinson
    Harold Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson
    Harold Arthur Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson CH, PC was a British businessman and Conservative politician. He was Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation between 1955 and 1959 and a cabinet member as Minister of Defence between 1959 and 1962, when he was sacked in the Night of the Long Knives...

    : Minister of Defence
    Minister of Defence (UK)
    The post of Minister of Defence was responsible for co-ordination of defence and security from its creation in 1940 until its abolition in 1964. The post was a Cabinet level post and generally ranked above the three service ministers, some of whom, however, continued to also serve in...

  • John Scott Maclay: Secretary of State for Scotland
    Secretary of State for Scotland
    The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...

  • John Hare
    John Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham
    John Hugh Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham OBE, PC, DL , was a British Conservative politician.-Background and education:...

    : Minister of Labour and National Service
    Secretary of State for Employment
    The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...

  • Christopher Soames: Minister of Agriculture
    Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The post was originally named President of the Board of Agriculture and was created in 1889...

  • Charles Hill
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton
    Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton PC was a British administrator, doctor and television executive.Charles Hill was born in Islington, London and was educated at St Olave's Grammar School in Southwark, London. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge where he gained a first class degree...

    : Minister of Housing and Local Government and Welsh Affairs
  • Lord Mills: Minister without Portfolio

July 1962 – October 1963


In a radical reshuffle dubbed "The Night of the Long Knives
Night of the Long Knives (1962)
The epithet Night of the Long Knives is given to July 13, 1962, when the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan sacked the following members of his Cabinet:*Lord Kilmuir — Lord Chancellor*Selwyn Lloyd — Chancellor of the Exchequer...

", Macmillan sacked a third of his Cabinet and instituted many other changes.
  • Harold Macmillan: Prime Minister
  • Rab Butler
    Rab Butler
    Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

    : Deputy Prime Minister
    Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    The Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a senior member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. The office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the Prime Minister, who may appoint to other offices...

     and First Secretary of State
    First Secretary of State
    First Secretary of State is an occasionally used title within the Government of the United Kingdom, principally regarded as purely honorific. The title, which implies seniority over all other Secretaries of State, has no specific powers or authority attached to it beyond that of any other Secretary...

  • Lord Dilhorne: Lord Chancellor
    Lord Chancellor
    The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

  • Lord Hailsham
    Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
    For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

    : Lord President of the Council
    Lord President of the Council
    The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord High Treasurer and above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends each meeting of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch's approval...

     and Minister of Science
  • Edward Heath
    Edward Heath
    Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

    : Lord Privy Seal
    Lord Privy Seal
    The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

  • Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling
    Reginald Maudling was a British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had been spoken of as a prospective Conservative leader since 1955, and was twice seriously considered for the post; he was Edward Heath's chief rival in 1965...

    : Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

  • Henry Brooke: Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Lord Home
    Alec Douglas-Home
    Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

    : Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  • Duncan Edwin Sandys: Secretary of State for the Colonies
    Secretary of State for the Colonies
    The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

     and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
    The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations was a British Cabinet office existing between 1947 and 1966, responsible for dealing with British relationship with members of the Commonwealth of Nations . The position was created out of the old position of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs...

  • Frederick Erroll: President of the Board of Trade
  • Iain Macleod
    Iain Macleod
    Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

    : Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a ministerial office in the government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster...

  • Sir Edward Boyle: Minister of Education
  • John Boyd-Carpenter: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Secretary to the Treasury
    In the United Kingdom, there are several Secretaries to the Treasury, who are junior Treasury ministers nominally acting as secretaries to HM Treasury. The origins of the office are unclear, although it probably originated during Lord Burghley's tenure as Lord Treasurer in the 16th century. The...

  • Ernest Marples
    Ernest Marples
    Alfred Ernest Marples, Baron Marples PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Postmaster General and Minister of Transport. After his retirement from active politics in 1974 Marples was elevated to the peerage...

    : Minister of Transport
  • Julian Amery: Minister of Aviation
  • Peter Thorneycroft: Minister of Defence
    Secretary of State for Defence
    The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

  • Michael Noble
    Michael Noble, Baron Glenkinglas
    Michael Antony Cristobal Noble, Baron Glenkinglas PC was a Scottish Tory politician.Noble was the youngest son of Sir John Noble, 1st Baronet, and the grandson of Sir Andrew Noble, 1st Baronet, and was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford...

    : Secretary of State for Scotland
    Secretary of State for Scotland
    The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...

  • John Hare
    John Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham
    John Hugh Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham OBE, PC, DL , was a British Conservative politician.-Background and education:...

    : Minister of Labour and National Service
    Secretary of State for Employment
    The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment...

  • Christopher Soames: Minister of Agriculture
    Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The post was originally named President of the Board of Agriculture and was created in 1889...

  • Sir Keith Joseph
    Keith Joseph
    Keith St John Joseph, Baron Joseph, Bt, CH, PC , was a British barrister and politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet under three Prime Ministers , and is widely regarded to have been the "power behind the throne" in the creation of what came to be known as...

    : Minister of Housing and Local Government and Welsh Affairs
  • Enoch Powell
    Enoch Powell
    John Enoch Powell, MBE was a British politician, classical scholar, poet, writer, and soldier. He served as a Conservative Party MP and Minister of Health . He attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech in opposition to mass immigration from...

    : Minister of Health
  • Bill Deedes
    Bill Deedes
    William Francis Deedes, Baron Deedes, KBE, MC, PC, DL was a British Conservative Party politician, army officer and journalist; he is to date the only person in Britain to have been both a member of the Cabinet and the editor of a major daily newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.-Early life and...

    : Minister without Portfolio

Beyond the Fringe (1960–1966)


During his premiership in the early 1960s Macmillan was savagely satirised for his alleged decrepitude by the comedian Peter Cook
Peter Cook
Peter Edward Cook was an English satirist, writer and comedian. An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy, he is regarded as the leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s. He has been described by Stephen Fry as "the funniest man who ever drew breath," although Cook's...

 in the stage review Beyond the Fringe
Beyond the Fringe
Beyond the Fringe was a British comedy stage revue written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller. It played in London's West End and then on New York's Broadway in the early 1960s, and is widely regarded as seminal to the rise of satire in 1960s Britain.-The...

. 'Even when insulted to his face attending the show,' a biographer notes, 'Macmillan felt it was better to be mocked than ignored.' One of the sketches was later revived by Cook for television.

Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981)


Macmillan appears as a supporting character, played by Ian Collier
Ian Collier
Ian Collier was a British actor.Collier appeared on stage in "Hamlet" in 1969 at the Lunt-Fontanne in New York City.He appeared in various television programmes including Rentaghost, Hi-de-Hi! and Howards' Way. He appeared in the Doctor Who story The Time Monster...

, in the 1981 miniseries Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years
Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years
Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years is an 8-part 1981 drama serial based on the life of Winston Churchill, and particularly his years in enforced exile from political position during the 1920s and 30s...

produced by Southern Television
Southern Television
Southern Television was the first ITV broadcasting licence holder for the south and south-east of England from 30 August 1958 until the night of 31 December 1981. The company was launched as Southern Television Limited and the title Southern Television was consistently used on-air throughout its life...

 for ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

.

A Letter of Resignation (1997–1998)


Set in 1963 during the Profumo scandal, Hugh Whitemore
Hugh Whitemore
Hugh Whitemore is an English playwright and screenwriter.Whitemore studied for the stage at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he is now a Member of the Council. He began his writing career in British television with both original teleplays and adaptations of classic works by Charles...

's play A Letter of Resignation, first staged at the Comedy Theatre in October 1997, dramatises the occasion when Harold Macmillan, staying with friends in Scotland, received a political bombshell, a letter of resignation from Profumo, his war minister.

Edward Fox
Edward Fox (actor)
Edward Charles Morice Fox, OBE is an English stage, film and television actor.He is generally associated with portraying the role of the upper-class Englishman, such as the title character in the film The Day of the Jackal and King Edward VIII in the serial Edward & Mrs...

 portrayed Macmillan with uncanny accuracy. But the play also explores the involvement of MI5
MI5
The Security Service, commonly known as MI5 , is the United Kingdom's internal counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its core intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence...

 and the troubled relationship between Macmillan and his wife Dorothy (Clare Higgins) who had made no secret of her adultery with the wayward Tory MP, Robert Boothby
Robert Boothby
Robert John Graham Boothby, Baron Boothby, KBE was a controversial British Conservative politician.-Early life:...

. The play was directed by Christopher Morahan
Christopher Morahan
Christopher Thomas Morahan CBE is an English stage and television director and producing manager.-Training and career:Morahan was born in London in 1929, and was educated at Highgate School...

.

Eden's Empire (2006)


Macmillan was played by Kevin Quarmby in Gemma Fairlie's production of James Graham's stage play Eden's Empire, at the Finborough Theatre
Finborough Theatre
The Finborough Theatre is a fifty seat theatre in the Earls Court area of London, United Kingdom , which presents new British writing, UK and premieres of new plays, primarily from the English speaking world including North America, Canada, Scotland and Ireland, music theatre, and rarely seen...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, in 2006.

Never So Good (2008)


Never So Good
Never So Good (play)
Never So Good is a 2008 play by Howard Brenton, which portrays the life and career of Harold Macmillan, a 20th-century Conservative British politician who served as Prime Minister...

is a four-act play by Howard Brenton
Howard Brenton
-Early years:Brenton was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, son of Methodist minister Donald Henry Brenton and his wife Rose Lilian . He was educated at Chichester High School For Boys and read English Literature at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. In 1964 he was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal...

, a portrait of Harold Macmillan set against a back-drop of fading Empire, two world wars, the Suez crisis, adultery and Tory politics at the Ritz.

Brenton paints the portrait of a brilliant, witty but complex man, tragically out of kilter with his times, an old Etonian who eventually loses his way in a world of shifting values.

The play was premiered at the National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 in March 2008, directed by Howard Davies with Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy John Irons is an English actor. After receiving classical training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Irons began his acting career on stage in 1969, and has since appeared in many London theatre productions including The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the...

 as Macmillan.

Additional reading

  • Macmillan A Publishing Tradition by Elizabeth James 2002 ISBN 0-333-73517-X
  • MacMillan : Portrait of a Politician, by Emrys Hughes
    Emrys Hughes
    Emrys Hughes was a Welsh Labour politician, best known for being the biographer and son-in-law of Keir Hardie, the Scottish Labour politician.Hughes was born in Tonypandy, Wales, the son of the Reverend J. R. Hughes...

    , Allen & Unwin
    Allen & Unwin
    Allen & Unwin, formerly a major British publishing house, is now an independent book publisher and distributor based in Australia. The Australian directors have been the sole owners of the Allen & Unwin name since effecting a management buy out at the time the UK parent company, Unwin Hyman, was...

    , 1962. ISBN 9780049230132
  • Britannica Online about Harold Macmillan
  • Riding the Storm, 1956–1959 by Harold Macmillan 1971 SBN (boards) 333 10310 6
  • Supermac: the Life of Harold Macmillan by D R Thorpe 2010, Chatto & Windus.
  • The Minister and the Massacres, by Nikolai Tolstoy, London, 1986, ISBN 0-09-164010-5

External links